towing 23 ft BT

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 19:02
ThreadID: 123785 Views:5282 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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We are currently looking at ordering a 23 ft BT but are concerned about the towing capacity of our Lexus LX470 vehicle, V8 -4.7 l (similar to Toyota Landcruiser). Does anybody have experience with towing such a large van with this type of vehicle? Thanks for your advice. - Franz
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Reply By: Motley - Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 21:37

Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 21:37
Hanni & Franz,

I tow a 20ft Bushtracker with a Lexus.

First to talk about the weight issue. The Lexus tows OK but there isn't much power in reserve. I have had a new Chip fitted in the engine management system and new extractors/exhaust system. This has resulted in a much less "refined" exhaust note for a Lexus but has given me a bit more power and torque without increasing fuel consumption. However, my personal opinion is that from a weight to be towed point of view, I am at the limit at 20ft.

More importantly, I think, is the issue of the length of the van compared to the wheelbase of the tow vehicle. I am not an expert on these things but within my own senseof what is safe towing, once again at 20 ft I think I am at the limit for the Lexus. If the van was to be any longer, I really feel that you have a saftey situation where the van could very well become the "tail wagging the dog".

We haved towed the 20 ft BT with the Lexus for well over 80,0000km including a very high percentage of off road. We use weight distribution gear a,d I feel comfortable driving this rig configuration. I don't think I would be as comfortable with a 23 ft van on the back. If I was to be considering a longer van, I would definitely be looking at a tow vehicle with more grunt and a longer wheel base, such as an F250, Chevvy etc.

Hope this helps


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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 21:46

Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 21:46
I would tend to agree with Motley - we also tow a 20' behind turbo diesel Landcruiser. I would probably be ok going to 21', but certainly any more and I would be getting a bit concerned about the overall geometry and whether the car or the van is the boss.
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 23:03

Thursday, Jun 21, 2007 at 23:03
Having towed our 21 ft with both a Landcruiser 100 series and now the F250 twin cab, I have to agree with the above comments. A larger vehicle with the longer wheel base makes the towing experience just that much easier and safer.

Having said that, there are a lot of large Jayco and similar vans being towed by Patrols and Landcruisers.

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Reply By: Pixellator - Friday, Jun 22, 2007 at 03:57

Friday, Jun 22, 2007 at 03:57
We have friends who have towed a 22ft BT with the works to Cape York (Telegraph Track), Tasmania, Oodnadatta Track, with a V8 Landcruiser. A bit heavy on fuel, but otherwise no problems.
I have sent details via a member message.
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Follow Up By: 100 series - Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 07:32

Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 07:32
I don't think your friends would have done the Telegraph track with a 21 foot van, it is too tight a squeeze on some of the bends and the track is only car width. I believe they would have gone on the Penninsula Developmental road to the tip and probably unhithed the van to do parts of the Telegrap track.
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Follow Up By: Pixellator - Sunday, Jun 24, 2007 at 06:18

Sunday, Jun 24, 2007 at 06:18
Hi there 100 series
Check out Caravan and Motorhome Volume 86, May 2006, page 110 to see a photo of the 22ft BT crossing Cockatoo Creek on the Telegraph Track. The article makes good reading about a couple of our friends who did the trip in their BTs in 2005. Several others have been to the Cape since then. I know of one who ventured in to Punsand Bay and Captain Billy Landing.
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Reply By: Black Cobra - Friday, Jun 22, 2007 at 11:42

Friday, Jun 22, 2007 at 11:42
Your vehicle towing capacity of 3500kg would have to come into it as well as being a 23' and depending on what accessories, like how many water tanks and other gear the tare might be up there.

Our 21' BT had a tare of 2900kg and with 6 water tanks full 492kg and 4 jerry cans 80kg, total 3472kg without any other gear comes close to towing capacity max, hence the F250 and 4400kg BT suspension pack.

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Follow Up By: Maximus - Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 02:09

Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 02:09

Don't forget that the F250 was rerated to 4500kg. towing capacity, so you have a bit of room left. looks like you are going to top out at close to 4000Kg. loaded if you stock up with good WA wine. We are over 3 months into our trip and going well. Currently in Longreach.


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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 08:24

Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 08:24
Yep Barrie thats why I got the F250, when I load it up to go to Birdsville in August I will take it over the weigh bridge and find out the all up weight.

Will have to catch up with you guys when you return and fill us in on the trip, happy and safe travelling.

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Reply By: Bob Bushwacker - Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 04:03

Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 04:03
I have been towing a 20 ft BT (2780kg dry) with a 98 model 3 speed +overdrive Lexus
I recently upgraded to a new 2006 lexus. A vast improvement in towing ability with
extra gear (5 speed) and greatly improved economy and steering
The vehicle is extremely high teck, a concern for remote travelling, but all vehicles are
heading that way. The vehicle stability control and anti swerve control can cause some concern when it takes over and applies brakes on individual wheels to bring you under control
I would not consider towing anything longer than 20 ft with this size of vehicle
you may get away with 21ft van, depending on how you accessorise the van
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Reply By: Theywent Thataway - Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 05:04

Saturday, Jun 23, 2007 at 05:04
When I visited the factory & spoke to Steve he explained to me that, as stated earlier it was also about the length & the tail wagging the dog. He said that while it may be legal from a weight perspective he would recommend against anything longer than 21' behind a vehicle of the same wheelbase as a Landcruiser, any longer & it can get twitchy when towing.

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